When are the NBA playoffs 2020 and when will they begin? Those are two questions that NBA fans all across the world have been asking for over a month now. We may have some hope and light at the end of the tunnel for real basketball to resume but we are going to simulate the NBA Playoffs NBA Jam style for now! There was an announcement earlier this week that the NBA would be re-opening their practice facilities in states that have lightened the stay at home requirements:
This announcement has received some push back on this and it sounds like it will be pushed out from May 1 but that is still yet to be determined. The thought of opening up facilities but limiting it to small groups got me thinking of how the NBA season would play out, NBA JAM style. So let’s take a look at the current playoff picture and then we will simulate through each round with an NBA Jam style format twist.
Let’s take a look at the NBA Jam duos from the current teams in the NBA playoffs picture. Rankings are based on current NBA 2k ratings
- Milwaukee Bucks – Giannis Antetokounmpo 97 & Khris Middleton 87
- Toronto Raptors – Kyle Lowry 85 & Pascal Siakam 89
- Boston Celtics – Kemba Walker 87 & Jason Tatum 88 (Tacko Fall is an honorable NBA JAM mention)
- Miami Heat – Jimmy Butler 88 & Bam Adebayo 86
- Indiana Pacers – Victor Oladipo 83 & Domantas Sabonis 85
- Philadelphia 76ers – Joel Embiid 91 & Ben Simmons 88
- Brooklyn Nets – *healthy* – Kevin Durant 96 & Kyrie Irving 91
- Orlando Magic – Nikola Vucevic 85 & Aaron Gordon 80
- Los Angeles Lakers – LeBron James 97 & Anthony Davis 96
- Los Angeles Clippers – Kawhi Leonard 96 & Paul George 90
- Denver Nuggets – Nikola Jokic 91 & Jamal Murray 84
- Utah Jazz – Donovan Mitchell 87 & Rudy Gobert 87 (although Mitchell doesn’t fucks wit Gobert anymore after the covid issue they had)
- Oklahoma City Thunder – Chris Paul 87 & Danilo Gallinari 84
- Houston Rockets – James Harden 97 & Russell Westbrook 89
- Dallas Mavericks – Luka Doncic 96 & Kristaps Porzingis 86
- Memphis Grizzlies – Ja Morant 84 & Jonas Valanciunas 83
Here is the bracket for the NBA playoffs, NBA JAM style:
Orlando Magic @ Milwaukee Bucks – Giannis Antetokounmpo 97 and Khris Middleton 87 are just too much for Nikola Vucevic 85 and Aaron Gordon 80 to handle. There would certainly be some rim rattling in this matchup but the Bucks would sweep this series 4-0 and no one can change my mind. Bucks in 4.
Brooklyn Nets @ Toronto Raptors – I wanted to include the *healthy* Nets for this game and unfortunately for the Raptors, that draws a very tough matchup. Kevin Durant 96 and Kyrie Irving 91 are going to be a tough one two punch and luckily for them in this scenario, there are only two players on the court so they can shoot as much as they want. Kyle Lowry 85 and Pascal Siakam 89 would take a game or two but the Nets come out of this matchup pretty easily. Net in 6.
Philadelphia 76ers @ Boston Celtics – Joel Embiid 91 and Ben Simmons 88 taking on Kemba Walker 87 and Jayson Tatum 88 would be an interesting matchup. The Celtics wouldn’t have any chance at stopping Embiid down on the post and he could score every single time with either one of them trying to guard him. However, the three point shooting of Kemba and Tatum would make up for the lack of defense and get them out of this tough matchup. Celtics in 7.
Indiana Pacers @ Miami Heat – Victor Oladipo 83 and Domantas Sabonis 85 going head to head against Jimmy Butler 88 and Bam Adebayo 86 creates another great matchup. You would have Oladipo and Butler going head to head and then Sabonis and Adebayo banging down low. This series would be close but I would take the Heat to come away in the end. The names Jimmy! Heat in 7.
Memphis Grizzlies @ Los Angeles Lakers – Ja Morant 84 and Jonas Valanciunas 83 make up a solid NBA Jam duo but let’s be real, they can’t compete with the combination of a healthy and rested Lebron James 97 and Anthony Davis 96. Similar the the 1 vs 8 matchup in the East, get the fucking brooms out. Lakers in 4.
Dallas Mavericks @ Los Angeles Clippers – Luka Doncic 96 and Kristaps Porzingis 86 coming in with a legit shot to knock off one of the favorites to win the Finals against Kawhi Leonard 96 and Paul George 90. The playmaking ability of Luka would make this series interesting but Porzingis on PG13 is a mismatch both ways and that mismatch favors the Clippers in this matchup. Clippers in 6.
Houston Rockets @ Denver Nuggets – James Harden 97 and Russell Westbrook 89 going up against Nikola Jokic 91 and Jamal Murray 84. Looking at this matchup as an NBA Jam two man team matchup, you would think the Rockets would be the 3 seed, not the Nuggets. I would envision Westbrook doing his best to body up Jokic on defense although it would be a tough matchup. On the other end of the floor, James Harden and Russell Westbrook are just too talented for the Nuggets to beat. Rockets in 5.
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Utah Jazz – Chris Paul 87 and Danilo Gallinari 84 form a nice duo with scoring ability and Gallinari has some size to matchup with Gobert. I think the chemistry or lack there of between Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert would come into play here which would hurt them in this matchup. For those of you who missed it, Gobert passed the corona virus on to Mitchell back when the spread began in the United States. Thunder in 6.
Eastern Conference Semi Finals 2020
Boston Celtics @ Milwaukee Bucks – The three point shooting would get the Celtics by in the first round but running into Giannis in the second round would be too much for Kemba and Tatum to handle. Giannis would be scoring at will and dishing out to Middleton to hit the threes when the Boston defense tried to double team Giannis. Bucks in 5.
Brooklyn Nets @ Miami Heat – The second round in a row that the *healthy* Brooklyn Nets come in as an underdog but they would clearly destroy the higher seeded Heat combo of Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. The Kyrie and KD combo would/will be magical to watch and they cruise by the Heat in 5. Nets in 5.
Western Conference Semi Finals 2020
Houston Rockets @ Los Angeles Lakers – James Harden, Russell Westbrook, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis, definitely one of the best 2 on 2 matchups that we would see with an NBA Jam style playoff format. There would be plenty of scoring and each game would be close but how can you go against the guy who’s been there and done it? Especially with a rested and healthy Anthony Davis as his right hand man. Lakers. In. 7.
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Los Angeles Clippers – Unlike the first second round matchup in the Western Conference, this one wouldn’t be as competitive. Kawhi and PG13 come in with an average rating of 93 compared to the combined rating of 85.5 for Chris Paul and Danilo Gallinari. Both matchups favor the Clippers here with CP3 not have the size to matchup with PG13 and Gallinari not having the speed or skill to matchup against Kawhi. I think the Clippers would breeze by the Thunder in this matchup. Clippers in 4.
Eastern Conference Finals 2020
Brooklyn Nets @ Milwaukee Bucks – The Nets come into this matchup with an average rating of 93.5 and the Bucks come in with an average rating of 92. Giannis and KD would be a dandy to watch and a healthy KD can certainly go head to head with Giannis. Kyrie has the advantage going head to head with Khris Middleton. This one goes the distance but the *healthy* Nets take it. Nets in 7.
Western Conference Finals 2020
Los Angeles Clippers @ Los Angeles Lakers – Wooooooo, this is the matchup that we all wanted to see when the bracket was released. LeBron James and Anthony Davis with an average rating of 96.5 and Kawhi Leonard and Paul George with an average rating of 93. LeBron and Kawhi going head to head would be fun to watch and I would give Kawhi the edge in this matchup but it would be close. Anthony Davis would be the X factor in this matchup because he is a mismatch for Paul George. It would be tough for PG13 to defend AD and also tough for him to score on AD. AD would simply be a mismatch on both ends of the court. This series would be a thriller but the Lakers show that they are the team to beat in L.A. Lakers in 7.
NBA Finals 2020
Brooklyn Nets @ Los Angeles Lakers – Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving at a 93.5 overall rating coming in against LeBron James and Anthony Davis at a 96.5 overall rating. Old buddies LeBron and Kyrie get to square off and that would not go well for Kyrie. KD would hold his own matching up with Anthony Davis but LeBron would be a mismatch for Kyrie and he would love every second of it. Lakers take a 3-0 lead, Nets win 1, and then the Lakers close it out. Lakers in 5.
Congratulations to the 2020 NBA Jam NBA Finals Champions – Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James and Anthony Davis! They would go down as one of the best NBA Jam duos of All-Time.